Davidee, one of the students, enjoys trying out some new hearing equipment.
Since the award of the Arctic Inspiration Prize on January 27, 2016, to November of 2017, Bheny has:
- installed 173 sound field systems in 13 schools – in Pond Inlet, Pangnirtung, Igloolik, Iqaluit (Nakasuk and Joamie Schools), Hall Beach, Grise Fjord, Resolute, Clyde River, Apex and Arctic Bay and Sanikiluaq.
- trained 197 teachers, principals and vice principals, 64 Student support Assistants, 15 Student Support Teachers and 4 School Community Counselors and 2 Student Support Consultants
- presented Hearing Fairs for approximately 2,442 children to learn about hearing and hearing care, with many parents, and community members such as DEA members, politicians, health unit and Department of Education staff and Nunavut Arctic College students also in attendance
- engaged in a variety of knowledge mobilization activities which included presenting the Bheny project at the International Audiology Congress in the spring of 2017 and recently at the Arctic Change conference in Quebec City in December 2017.
- signed a contract with the Department of Education for continued involvement in the implementation process of the soundfield systems in the remaining 4 schools of the Qikiqtani region. Bheny’s original plan had been to train local personnel to complete the implementation process in the final few schools, however, due to personnel and restructuring within the department of education, this was not possible. Consequently Bheny has been contracted to remain the primary implementer of the systems with financial support from the Dept. of Education.
- participated in the National Speech-Language and Audiology (SAC) Association’s Ad Hoc committee on the development of a position paper on the status of Speech, language and Audiology services for First Nations and Inuit across Canada. The position statement is due to be released in January 2018.
- participated in a Department of Health initiative to gather data on the prevalence of hearing loss in Nunavut. Staff from Bheny and volunteers obtained initial data from Pond Inlet and Igloolik with 238 children receiving complete diagnostic hearing assessments in the fall of 2017. Four communities from the other regions of Nunavut have been identified to also participate in the data gathering which is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2018.
We are now planning for the final phase of Bheny which includes launches in two schools in the spring of 2018 in Qikiqtarjuaq and Kimmirut. Cape Dorset is a unique situation in that the high school in this community is still under construction after its demise by fire and so implementation is planned hopefully for the fall of 2018 once it is open.